(ATR) Patrick Hickey’s sporting exile ended at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.
Hickey was seen attending the closing ceremony of the Games, in a photo posted by Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan. It is unclear if Hickey attended the ceremonies as a representative of the European Olympic Committees. Requests for comment from the EOC were not returned.
Azerbaijan hosted the first edition of the European Games. The Games were considered to be a pet project of Hickey's during his time as EOC President. A second edition of the Games is planned for Belarus in 2019.
Hickey’s return to sport comes after the EOC acting president Janez Kocijancic said Hickey would not run for re-election at the body’s November General Assembly. Kocijancic cited the ongoing case in Brazil as a reason for Hickey’s departure.
During the 2016 Olympics Hickey was arrested in Rio de Janeiro as part of a ticket touting scandal with the Olympic Council of Ireland. In the wake of being charged Hickey self-suspended all of his Olympic family roles. Those roles included the presidency of the OCI and the EOC. The OCI elected Sarah Keane to succeed Hickey, and the EOC will vote on a successor in November.
The case against Hickey continues to plod through the Brazilian justice system. Hickey was allowed to leave Brazil last December to receive medical treatment. In exchange, Hickey agreed to accept all decisions taken against him allowing the trial to continue with him in absentia.
So far no trial date has been set. Marcos Kac, the prosecutor on the case, told Around the Rings he has heard "nothing yet" about if or when a trial would be scheduled.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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